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Exciting News!

A new study published by The University of Adelaide in South Australia found that “Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF.

The university analyzed research studying 1,851 women with infertility. They compared women that received Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with those that received Western drug therapy alone. Those that received TCM showed a pregnancy rate of 60% within a four-month period compared with the 30% undergoing IVF.

The authors of the study noted that, “Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.”

Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other modalities can restore balance and harmonize the whole body, allowing women to conceive naturally without costly or invasive treatments. If women are undergoing IVF, Chinese medicine can support and strengthen the body and alleviate stress, augmenting any therapeutic process.

Check out these articles for more information:

You can find the study abstract here:

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Cervical Dysplasia [CD] refers to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Although these changes are not cancer, they can lead to cancer of the cervix if not treated. Cervical carcinoma is one of the most common cancers among women, with an estimated 16,000 new cases of invasive cancer of the cervix and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.  Consequently, it is important to take a CD diagnosis seriously. However, mild and moderate cases can be completely resolved with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes nearly all cases of CD. HPV is a very common virus that is spread through sexual contact. There are many different types of HPV. Traditional Chinese Medicine cannot diagnose CD and HPV. It is crucial to get regular Pap smear exams. It is the only way to make sure you have a healthy cervix or get timely treatment if cells are abnormal.

Western medicine names the following as factors that may increase your risk of CD:

  • Becoming sexually active before age 18
  • Going long periods without getting a Pap Smear
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having other illnesses or using medications that suppress your immune system
  • Smoking

Doctors aren’t exactly sure why becoming sexually active before 18 put women at greater risk. They think it might be because a woman is then more likely to have multiple partners, a risk factor in itself. Also, the cells of the cervix are special. They transform over time in a process called metaplasia.  For this reason, the exposed area of columnar cells on the cervix is called the “transformation zone”. Over many years, flat cells, called squamous cells, replace these columnar cells. The risk of developing pre-cancer is increased if the transformation zone is exposed to a sexually transmitted carcinogen at a time of maximum cellular activity during adolescence. Interestingly, this fact is in harmony with the Traditional Chinese Medicine view that sexual activity at an early age is very detrimental to the Directing and Penetrating Vessels (corresponds to the female reproductive organs) because the uterus and these vessels are in a vulnerable state at that age. In Giovanni Maciocia’s text, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine he contends, ” Adolescence is a very vulnerable time in the life of a girl and any cause of disease at this age has serious consequences. In fact, other causes of disease may play a contributory role. Emotional problems around the time of puberty also have a very deep influence on a girl’s life: they may cause stagnation of Qi in the liver, which easily affects the genital system in women. “


Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the whole body when looking at disease and disharmony. A detailed intake process helps Chinese medicine practitioners understand the root of the disharmony. The initial intake process considers the patient’s internal condition as well as looking at their lifestyle, environment, and habits. Additionally, the diagnosis process relies upon palpation of the pulse and abdomen and observation of the tongue. Chinese medicine practitioners use all of this information to diagnose the root cause and pathway of the disharmony, based on TCM pattern diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made the practitioner will develop a treatment plan that is based upon the individual constitution of the patient.

Treatment usually consists of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, lifestyle and eastern dietary recommendations. Eastern diet therapy is an important part of treatment, as studies have shown women with CD have a high frequency of general nutritional deficiencies, as high as 67% in one survey. Women with cervical dysplasia were especially deficient in beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Chinese medicine practitioners can help patients identify foods that are especially beneficial for them; this is done via an eastern nutrition profile. Eating foods that benefit the patient’s constitution help promote healing and rejuvenation of the body.

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the HPV as well as the patient’s overall health and any preexisting medical conditions.  This is usually assessed during the initial consultation with a Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

All practitioners at The Nest have completed extensive post-graduate training in women’s reproductive health and have experience treating HPV, Cervical Dysplasia and other gynecological concerns.

If you have been diagnosed with HPV or CD and you are interested in HPV natural treatment options, please call The Nest for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation with one of our practitioners.


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Practitioners at The Nest have recommended all along that babies should be carried to a full term whenever possible. A new study corroborates this by showing that maintaining a healthy pregnancy to 40 weeks lowers infant mortality rates within the first year of life.

Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for women who have a history of or are at high risk for preterm labor. The Nest has successfully treated many women who were at risk—consistent visits at The Nest allowed these women to make it to 40 weeks despite the expectations of their medical providers.

Here’s what one happy mother had to say:
With news of our second pregnancy, I was ecstatic, but soon became anxious of the very real possibility of a repeated preterm labor and delivery. Although I had been getting weekly progesterone injections, my anxieties surrounding preterm labor heightened as I approached the gestational age of our first born. With the timely addition of acupuncture treatments, my fears were lessened, and my pregnancy felt strong and fortified. The women at The Nest Chicago helped me to combat my anxieties and believe that this baby could be born healthy. At full term, I gave birth to a beautiful, full-faced baby girl!

Treatments at The Nest focus on supporting a woman’s energy and blood, balancing hormones, and reducing the affects of stress on the body. Pregnancy is a physically demanding time—for the mother and the developing fetus. The systemic support that acupuncture provides helps to ameliorate issues that might be standing in the way of a pregnancy progressing normally and naturally.

According to Chinese Medicine, preterm labor can be triggered by a few different factors: deficiency of energy and blood, weakness in the earth and water elements, stagnation, and/or excessive heat in the body. When these imbalances arise, they affect the uterine environment and the fetus, thus increasing the risk of of premature cervical ripening and uterine contractions.

Acupuncture and moxibustion work together to strengthen the body in cases of weakness and deficiency. For example, when stagnation and heat dominate, a dispersing/sedating and harmonizing method of acupuncture is employed.

In general, The Nest recommends that expectant mothers receive acupuncture as a regular part of their pregnancy wellness—ideally, at least once a month. If any concern arises that indicates a woman is at high risk for preterm labor (or if she has a history of preterm labor) she should come more often, and begin early in her pregnancy. Regular acupuncture treatments also help alleviate end of pregnancy anxiety and discomfort so that all women (including those without preterm labor concerns) can make it to their due dates comfortably.

Call The Nest at 773.267.0248 to discuss how acupuncture can help you maintain and support a healthy pregnancy.

An abstract of a recent study at Dongshin University has this to say:
Preterm labor (PTL) is one of the main causes of fetal mortality and morbidity in obstetrical medicine. Current methods of treatment are not very effective and often have significant side effects. For this reason new methods of preventing PTL are currently being sought. In Western medicine the newest development is oxytocin antagonists. In Oriental medicine acupuncture and moxibustion are being utilized for the purpose of stopping PTL.

To read more about this study, click here.

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